Mr Suppapimit was in Phuket yesterday (Nov 4) to witness first-hand the testing of the warning tower at Kamala Beach, which has repeatedly been reported as failing to sound the alarm during tests.
Mr Suppapimit said that all warning towers in Phuket are functioning 100%.
However, he added, “But the system must have careful, continuous maintenance and people must be involved to check whether the signal is clear or not during testing.”
The warning tower came under special attention early last month after local residents reported that the national anthem could not be heard from the tower during tests. (See story here.)
Mr Suppapimit yesterday confirmed that the Kamala tower is now functioning properly.
“Officials and maintenance technicians have already checked the tower and installed two new solar panels and batteries. Also, local administration staffers have undergone training in terms of maintenance, including making sure that tree branches are pruned to avoid obscuring the solar panel,” he added.
“After the maintenance and testing the signal, it appears that the signal is quite clear,” Mr Suppapimit said.
“We intended to check more than one point today (Nov 4),” he added, “but due to time constraints we can check only the Kamala tower.
“Therefore, I have ordered technicians to check and fix another point, which is expected to be finished tomorrow (Nov 5),’’ he added.
Mr Suppapimit did not identify exactly which other warning tower needed urgent attention.
“The tsunami warning towers can work 100%, but they needed continuous maintenance, which instructed the local administrations to do already,” he said.
“Moreover, we ask for the people of Phuket to pay attention during the signal tests. If you notice any problems, please inform to Phuket Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (Tel: 076-218444) so they can coordinate technicians to fix the problem.
“Alternatively, you can contact the Emergency Coordination Center 24-hour hotline by calling 192*,” Mr Suppapimit added.
* For the Emergency Coordination Center Facebook page, click here.